Breast cancer awareness month: How to spot early signs

A NEW B-Aware campaign was launched this year to promote early detection of breast cancer.

One in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and breast cancer awareness month is urging women to check their breasts the right way for any signs of lumps or anything that causes concern.

The three main risks of breast cancer are gender, age and family history. Breast cancer is more common in women over the age of 50, and shockingly, statistics reveal that men over the age over 60 are also likely to contract the disease.

Several female celebrities have been diagnosed with the disease and have been proud to say that they survived.

Sex and the city star Cynthia Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40, but had the lump successfully removed. Along with many other women, breast cancer ran in Cynthia’s family, as her mother was also diagnosed with the disease, and fortunately both women survived.

Singer Kylie Minogue, Sheryl Crow and actors Christina Applegate and Diahann Carroll were all diagnosed with breast cancer in later life, and years after they hit their 30th birthday. These women and many more have actively worked with breast cancer awareness to help women spot the signs at an early stage, where the cancer is easier to treat.

An early detection plan has been created on the national breast cancer awareness website, offering women advice on symptoms and signs and how to perform a breast self-exam.

Here’s how to check yourself:

Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Look for breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour, breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling. If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention.

Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes. While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting.

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